RUANE, WILLIAM HAROLD, Technician 5th Grade, # 36362507, U.S. Army


William H. Ruane was born on 26 November 1920 in Chicago, Illinois, to John Joseph Ruane (1893-1980) and Mary (McNamara) Ruane (1890-1974) (Ireland) (married 26 September 1912, Chicago, IL). Siblings included Catherine Bernice Ruane (1914-1914), Francis Ruane (1914-1935), John Joseph Ruane Jr. (1915-1987), James Raymond Ruane (twin of William H.) (1920-1997), Laurence Stanley Ruane, Margaret Ruane (1936-1936), and Lester R. Ruane (1929-    ).


After enlisting and training at Ft. Lee, Virginia, he was assigned to and trained for the Quartermaster Corp. On 2 May 1944, C-47A, # 42-23520, assigned to 10th Air Force, 443rd Troop Carrier Group, 2nd Troop Carrier Squadron, departed the airfield at Dinjan, India, on a supply drop combat mission. It was last contacted by radio at 1644 hours, over Talanga Gao, at 26º 50’ North & 96º 25’ East. He served as a drop crewman on the sortie. His remains were recovered by Graves Registration from the 10th Air Force airfield cemetery, Kakaikunds, India, and buried on 18 July 1949 in the Woodlawn National Cemetery (Sec. G, Grave 4790), Elmira, New York. This was a burial with the remains of fellow crewman, John Modesta.


His brother, Lawrence S. Ruane, born 24 January 1926, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, a Private First Class, 1st Marine Division, from 24 April 1944 to his death on 1 June 1945, and was killed in action. He is buried in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.

USMC PFC Laurence S. Ruane: The final campaign the 1st Marine Division would take part in during World War II would be the Battle of Okinawa. The strategic importance of Okinawa was that it provided a fleet anchorage, troop staging areas, and airfields in close proximity to Japan. The division landed on 1 April 1945 as part of the III Amphibious Corps. Its initial mission was, fighting alongside the 6th Marine Division, to clear the northern half of the island – that they were able to do expeditiously. The Army's XXIV Corps met much stiffer resistance in the south, and on 1 May 1945 the Marine division was moved south where it relieved the Army's 27th Infantry Division. The division was in heavy fighting on Okinawa until 22 June 1945, when the island was declared secure. The 1st Marine Division slugged it out with the Japanese 32nd Army at such places as Dakeshi Ridge, Wana Ridge, "Sugarloaf Hill" and Shuri Castle. Fighting on Okinawa cost the division 1,655 killed in action.